February 16th, 2010
02:24 PM ET

FAQ: Taliban leader's capture

The Taliban's top military leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, has been captured, senior U.S. and Pakistani officials told CNN.  Baradar has been a close associate of Osama bin Laden and is seen as the number two figure in the Afghan Taliban.

Here are some frequently asked questions about Baradar and his capture:
Who is Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar?
Is it significant that Baradar was caught in Karachi, Pakistan?
What does his capture mean for the current Operation Moshtarak?
Will Baradar's capture help find Osama bin Laden?


Who is Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar?
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is regarded as the No.2 figure in the Afghan Taliban behind Mullah Mohammed Omar and is described as a close associate of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. But with Omar staying out of sight, Baradar is "basically the de facto leader" of the Taliban, said Muhammad Amir Rana, director of the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, a Pakistani think tank.

CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen called Baradar "arguably more important than Mullah Omar from a military point of view," because Omar is more of a religious figure than an operational commander of the Taliban.

Rana called Baradar a "very skilled military tactician." "When the Taliban were in government in Afghanistan, he was the supreme commander of the army and was heading the charge against the Northern Alliance holdouts at that point in time." Rana said Baradar's capture is significant because he was was actively directing the Taliban's activities in Afghanistan.

Interpol believes Baradar was born in 1968 in Afghanistan's Uruzgan Province and says he held the role of the Taliban's deputy minister of defense until the regime was toppled in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Baradar has been with the Taliban since the beginning, Rana said, and is a member of its Quetta Shura, or leadership council. Profile: More details on Baradar's life

Is it significant that Baradar was caught in Karachi, Pakistan?
Baradar's arrest in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi illustrates both the strong presence of the Afghan Taliban in Pakistan and the growing cooperation between the U.S. and Pakistan.

The Afghan Taliban's political leadership is known as the "Quetta Shura" because it has been known to seek sanctuary from forces in Afghanistan by hiding in Pakistan's Quetta area. U.S. officials believe several high value targets have recently moved from Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province to Karachi, including Taliban leader Mullah Omar.

Baradar was arrested during a joint raid between the U.S. and Pakistan and is currently being held in joint custody and interrogated by both the CIA and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency. This suggests a new level of cooperation between the U.S. and Pakistan.

Until recently the U.S. has accused Pakistani security service of supporting the Taliban and allowing them to move freely throughout the country, which has been a source of tension between the CIA and ISI. Pakistan has long sought influence in Afghanistan to counter perceived threats from its nuclear neighbor, India.

The U.S. has complained that the Pakistanis have refused to act on informaton about the location of key Taliban leaders that was shared with Pakistan's intelligence service. When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Pakistan in October, she charged that the Pakistani leadership could have gone after senior Taliban and al Qaeda leaders in the country if it wanted to. Pakistan responded that the American information was inaccurate or outdated.

The U.S. has also shored up its support in Pakistan, including sharing more intelligence and going after Pakistani Taliban targets like Baitullah Mehsud, a former leader of the Pakistani Tablian who was killed in a a drone attack last year.  The U.S. has also pledged billions of dollars in aid and counterintellgence training.  Pakistan has taken significant actions over the past year to go after the Taliban Pakistan, a faction that has been at war with the Pakistani government. But it has rarely targeted Afghan Taliban leaders. Baradar's arrest suggests Pakistan has gradually accepted the view it's support of the Taliban in Afghanistan is not helpful to its own survival.

What does the capture of Abdul Ghani Baradar mean for U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan including current operations in the Helmand district?

While the arrest of the senior Taliban leader is good news in terms of removing a combatant from the battle, at least one senior U.S. official with knowledge of Taliban operations inside Afghanistan brings a sober note to the story saying, "I don't think this will have a direct impact on the Central Helmand operation."

The official says the U.S. is uncertain how deep the Taliban bench is so it is unclear how Baradar's replacement will function.

But another U.S. official says his capture will do some immediate good for the U.S. fighting in Afghanistan. "Having him (Baradar) off the battlefield means the near-term disruption of plotting against coalition forces in Afghanistan," the official said.

But it is still unclear how Baradar's arrest will impact Taliban operations around Afghanistan in the long run and U.S. officials are taking a wait and see approach on whether he will give up any useful information.

"But no one should think the Taliban are down and out for good. This is an outfit that has suffered serious losses in recent years–and they'll almost certainly face similar losses in the future–but they've proven resilient before," according to the official.

Will Baradar's arrest be a break for the U.S. in terms of finding senior Taliban and al Qaeda leaders including Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden?

A senior U.S. official with knowledge of Taliban operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan tells CNN Baradar's arrest "may well have lasting impacts on the Quetta Shura Taliban –the Taliban's leadership council– because he ran day to day operations for the Afghan Taliban."

But it remains to be seen how his arrest in Karachi will affect the hunt for senior Taliban and al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"I guess it depends on how talkative he becomes," the senior official said.

Reva Bhalla, the director of analysis at Stratfor, an intelligence think-tank, doubts Baradar could lead the CIA straight to its most-wanted. "It's not like you have one guy and that immediately opens the door to everyone else," she argued, saying that the Taliban guards information carefully because it knows its members could be captured.

And in an interview with Newsweek via email last year Baradar himself said he was in contact with Mullah Omar, but, "continuous contacts are not risk free."

But it is another indication of the pressure the U.S. and Pakistan are putting on the Taliban.  Since the beginning of the year, there has been a steady increase of drone strikes against the Taliban hiding out on the Pakistan side of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Such a prominent capture could help another part of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, getting mid and lower-level Taliban to transition into regular society. The Afghan government is willing to help these Taliban do this by not punishing them, but to help them integrate them into the population with offers of jobs.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates draws the re-integration line at the top, however. He has said he has no interest in negotiation with the top Taliban leadership.

But with successful captures like that of Baradar the U.S. hopes that will send a message to the lower Taliban echelons and move them toward assimilating into the regular population.

"Since Mullah Omar has been close to him (Baradar) for a long time, it must also be a severe psychological blow to the group's senior ranks," according to a U.S.  government official.

soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. GSK

    Slow, long mental and physical torture can make most people sing like a song bird and tell us whee the nest is!

    February 17, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. shetho

    How come one of the top Taliban leader was allowed to stay in Pakistan so far? Does it mean Pakistan hosting/sheltering Talibans?

    February 17, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. earnest king

    I do not care whether it was conspiracy or not. What matter most is that this man is off the street. Do you think that the Taliban accept everybody as their leaders or they will take those they trust? I do not know why Republican can not learn to accept the good. They just hate and they are drive by hate. I am sure if this was by Bush and Cheney Admin, these same Republican would have being on every news. Let stop this little mind set of Republican and face the job of building the economy, healthcare and fight aginst war on terrorism.

    February 17, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dinesh

    The capture is significant credit goes to joint US-Pakistan operations with Pakistan taking the lead. But this capture is not the end of it. It is significant and hunt should continue. I bet they will get as much information from Baradar without torture as was obtained in past with torture from other captured Taliban. US and world needs to be careful that Pakistan does not use this for yet another large increment of aid or favors against it enemies and neighbors. It is in Pakistan's progressive interest to move on, eradicate terrorism, emphasize progress, and build a strong economy and nation. Every nation in that region, even farther like Vietnam and Malaysia are trying to rise.

    February 17, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. Guest

    I wonder how the Taliban would feel if we beheaded him and posted the video on the internet?

    February 17, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. adam

    Government of Pakistan captures those talibans who become against their policy in afghanistan,ISI knows every talib and his position when they do not want fight anymore in
    afghanistan so they capture and give it to CIA.Mulla bradar must be changed his policy
    about afghanistan that is why they captured him.

    February 17, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. An old vet

    would it be torture if we just put him in a room with joe biden and just let joe talk to him and talk to him talk to him and talk and talk and talk. what will happen?
    this guy is going to make a deal and spend a couple of years in prison (maybe) if he doesnt "escape" and be back on the playing field again. providing he is who they say he is.
    But it is a nice story and the ratings are up Im sure.
    Thanks to the real boots on the ground be safe men this one old vet that is still proud to be an American very proud of all you brave young guys THANKS AGAIN

    February 17, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. Peter

    There has been almost no coverage of this capture on the right wing radio talk shows.
    Hannity had a guy on who wrote a book about Bill Clinton, Rush is babbling about taxes.
    O'Reilly has nothing about this on his website that I can see.

    The political debate in the USA media has been taken over by Obama haters or Obama lovers.

    Most people are in the middle and see good and bad. Who is representing us?

    February 17, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. BJNJ

    Can't trust any of these Paky or Afry military types. They have no ethics and will switch sides in a flash. What is needed is a few mushroom clouds over the poppy fields. American's think that there can be cooperation between the US and Arab states. WRONG. The "clan" system have been in effect dor thousands of years. Do you think putting a military uniform on one of these crazies is going to create an alligence to either country. WRONG. It's the "clan" that rules. These governments are 300 years behind. In the 1600 the US hung witches. The clans kill infidels! SEE THE SIMILARITY.
    BJNJ

    February 17, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    This is an excellent time to offer an amnesty program. There will be some that question their involvement in Taliban in the wake of losing a major leader, this is a great time to cultivate those seeds of doubt. Ignoring the hardcore elements, offer a targeted amnesty program that focuses on centrist Taliban elements. Defections will be harder to control amid leadership struggles, this is a great time to make a hard time for the Taliban even harder.

    February 17, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  11. hamtaro

    This is not what it seems.

    He is in the same tribe as Karzai and they are actually close to each other.

    The ISI arrested him to cut him off as a back channel negotiator to the taliban/america.

    Keep in mind the ISI had him released in 2001...he was in Karachi and known the whole time.

    The ISI wants to be the go between to the Taliban ,period. So they did this to stop any other communication channels.

    Not good for our interests.

    February 17, 2010 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. John

    Let's see how long he stays in custody before he "escapes". It serves the Pakistan government much better if a few terrorists are allowed to stay in the country and be
    "hole cards" to be palyed as "jokers" when needed. No Muslim nation is going to allow itself to be portrayed as working with any non-Muslim country unilaterally-ever. There are only two ways we can have co-operation with Pakistani officials, fear or the threat of fear, and money to buy them off. They are not and will not ever be allies or friends. Understand that and you have basis for tactical possibilities.

    February 17, 2010 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. Len

    These guys are a dime a dozen...they reproduce like cockroaches...just keep on exterminating....

    February 17, 2010 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. david

    Waterboarding; done properly, and with respect for the individual, can provide good inteligence.

    February 17, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. david

    Let's bring back waterboarding; that useful and valuable tool.

    February 17, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  16. John

    Nice job for people that caught him. Of course it matters. Shame and embarrassment for all the right wingers that are so disappointed that America had a success. The comments here are transparent, obvious, and anti American. Who really wants America to fail, the right that publicly states it regularly or the Taliban themselves?

    February 17, 2010 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  17. Dale

    Vinny is correct. Good talented leaders are very hard to find. This guy we captured is not easily replacable by just another warm body. This is a huge dent in the whole Taliban enemy organization. If we keep this up, we just might win the war. Thank you to our uniformed troops, the spooks, and the military leadership up to the Commander-in-Chief Obama.

    February 17, 2010 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  18. Isagani

    Pakistan military has finallly thinned their calousness after a long pressure of US. It is better late than never. Now taliban knew their trusted leader has ben captured, there is another guy in line for succession, a power struggle is in sight, and a thousand more are waiting. It is only a massive response of military offensive " WITHOUT MERCY" can root out this souless evil doctrined militants. Praise to all coalition forces that conduct this operation.

    February 17, 2010 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  19. ALEX

    I am totally against torture, but in this case the CIA or ISI should torture him if they can't get him to talk. Break his back if they need to just don't let anyone find out.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  20. Viole O.

    I would not be surprised to see Pakistan just let him go. Now that we cannot use force in our interigation i.e. waterboarding, maybe we could just give him Ice Cream until he tells us something useful.

    February 17, 2010 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  21. Joe Reid

    Great!.......Does this mean the almost 9 year old war is going to finallly end or are our troops going to have unrestricted use of thier weapons.....NOT. I'll bet the CIA didn't have any ROE's governing thier conduct when they took this guy into custody.

    By the way; how many #2 guys do we have in custody now? It's always the #2 guy. Hmmmm

    February 17, 2010 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
  22. G.shankar

    Hi All,
    By this now every policy maker in washington should know that Pakistan is playing Game to U.S.As and when Pakistan need some money or demand any thing ,they do this these show,they have done before.Pakistani ISI or Army know the where about of all most wanted terrorist's.
    even if you see all of people who were caught ,are caught in same country,So this is paskitan who is directly or indirectly waging a war against west in the name of Taliban,who has the full army backing and we have to see what U.S does,they just shower money to these leaders.Look at Pravez mussar(Ex.Army General),how much wealth he has ,he has got 2-3 house in London.
    So dear people dont get fooled by these sort of articale's,please open your eyes and mind
    God bless you

    February 17, 2010 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
  23. chinesedrywall

    Military leader of the Taliban is a joke.Did he control the Navy, Air Force, the fleet of tanks or a bunch of skinny little guys who dont like their country being invaded

    February 17, 2010 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
  24. bp chennai india

    Its great news that CIA and ISI agents have been able to capture baradar in karachi pakistan.CIA and ISI should apply the same yardstick in capturing Dawood Ibrahim an international terrorist from india who lives in a palatial villa in karachi pakistan.The whole world know where he lives in karachi.

    February 17, 2010 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
  25. RealCheetah

    If you go through most of the comments one can see the DISTRUST public has with Pakistan. THIS is exactly the same distrust that exists in the PEOPLE of Pakistan for the Americans. This arrogant and ungrateful tone simply furthers the hard set attitudes of the people of both countries.

    Both sides have a lot to say to each other and both are mum BUT deep inside this anti each other sentiments are brewing. It is a matter of time when the tipping point is reached and who reaches there first.

    Sane mindset will acknowledge a success and strive for the next objective and a bankrupt intellect only doubts the intentions of others and unfortunately wars are not won with the latter approach.

    February 17, 2010 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
  26. Rick Indiana

    Taliban denies commander captured in Pakistan, its on yahoo news.. so someone is lying here.

    February 17, 2010 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
  27. monasterymonkey

    One down and how many more to go? If the success of the Afghan Taliban hinges on a single individual why haven't we been concentrating all the forces at our disposable to get him?

    While positive news in the war on terrorism lets not expect the entire effort to immediately turnaround. It also calls into question whether traditional military operations are more effective than covert intelligence operations. The CIA and ISI apparently are able to work together. That's good news.

    February 17, 2010 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  28. Insan Mukmin

    I don't believe he has been captured. Remember US forces paraded Saddam Hussein in public after capturing him. So why not parade the Taliban commanded unless he has not really been captured.

    February 17, 2010 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  29. karachi wala

    Its a fact that over the years there has been a lot of mistrust between Pak and the US which has been used by third parties like the Taliban and India, with the former using pakistans tribal areas as safe havens and the latter setting up terror camps in afghanistan to destabilise pakistans baluchistan province. Ultimately there seems to be a realisation that neither pakistan or the US are going to come up tops if they are not sensitive to each others security concerns. All pakistan wants to get out of this is that there is ultimately a friendly government in afghanistan (that means no indian terror camps etc) and what the US wants is a terror free Afghanistan. Win Win. i feel sorry for my jealous indian and Taliban friends posting here.

    February 17, 2010 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  30. esreddy

    All these captured people are ISI manufactured. ISI knows where everyone is. Everytime US announced aid to pakistan. ISI "captures" one of them. Then it takes the aid money and pumps some of it back to the terrorists. Just a money making scheme as far as pakistan is concerned. Nothing is going to come out of it.

    February 17, 2010 at 1:54 am | Report abuse |
  31. John

    I find this all a bit strange

    While the capture is indeed a huge milestone in our efforts over there, I must believe there was no choice for ISI but to act and cooperate with our agencies. The ISI is notorious for its sympathies towards the Taliban and even Al Qaeda – the clearest example of this is the "air lift of evil" that happened during the opening days of Enduring Freedom. Its a little bit of a stretch, but at the same time quite reasonable – the CIA working alone to track him down, and then springing it on ISI before they could react? Again, I believe this is possible.

    The ISI is full of leaks that are sympathetic to the Taliban and are anti-Western – it just makes me ask why it has taken them 9 years to cooperate with us and our agencies. I am firm in my belief that the leaks are high up and actively work against the coalition efforts in Afghanistan

    February 17, 2010 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  32. The Real Deal

    As anyone with a brain knows, the Taliban was created by Obama's Foreign Policy adviser and handler, Zbigniew Brzezinski who is also the father of Al Qaeda. The only reason banker run America turned against the Taliban is because they couldn't secure the tribal lands of Afghanistan so pipelines could be built. These oil and natural gas pipelines have been on order for decades. The Rockefeller and Rothschild families (Exxon,BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Conoco Phillips, Chevron) have been divvying up the entire world's oil supply and reaping the profits. They control the American Presidency! No amount of voting will break their stranglehold. You need to research these families and tell everyone you know about what you discover. Only then will America truly be free! Start with the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Aspen Institute, Bilderberg Group, Population Council and Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline. Good Luck.

    February 17, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  33. aj

    You skipped over the biggest question: What verification/proof do we have that he actually was caught? Photos of him in captivity? Official word from the US or Afgan millitary?
    If not, it's just a rumor.

    February 17, 2010 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  34. Ramses

    One really should try to understand the Region. Afghanistan & Pakistan and several other under developed & poor countries where the rich, affuent & people in power are corrupt & live very well depriving the un or poorly educated people of the basic necessasities of life. These poor & poorly educated people are exploited by the poweful & they are desperate to make a living. They find refuge in religion & become fanatics & Jihadis. Drug trade has become another way to beat the corrupt system. In fact Taliban was created by Pakistan to create problems for India over the Kashmir issue. Pakistani govt in fact encouraged & financed Taliban in the initial stages & created the Devil which now has joined Al Khaida. Catching one or several Talibans or Al khaida leaders does not solve the problem at all. Talibanis & Al khaida members need to be educated & they should come to realize that their means & methods does not improve their situation. They have to realize themselves to give up their methods & join the main streem of the world to get ahead & move towords prosperty. How & when this is going to happen we do not know. The world should work with them to change their methods & help them understand the reality so that they can live in Harmony with the rest of the world. This is going to take time & big effort.

    February 17, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  35. S M

    Oh here we go again, how many Number 2 Taliban has Obama captured?

    Sorry I sincerely wish this was true, but it is hard to beleive a regime that has a propganda machine that Goebbels woudl envy, which happens to include the Communist News Network.

    Wake up people, helllloooooooo

    February 17, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  36. Jay in Virginia

    ISI gave birth to the Taliban. We must revamp the entire ISI (forget the soverignty issues) and remove all sympathizers within. We cannot be satisfied when one of these replacable pawns is caught, we must go up the ladder and clean house. ISI is the force in Jammu and Kashmir that created Lashkar-E-Taiba, which creates havoc in that regiion and in India (the lastest bombing in Pune.) Godspeed to all forces (US and coalition) involved to remove this cancer called terrorists from our world.

    February 17, 2010 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  37. truthseeker850

    Those of you who rail against the American justice system seem to have no faith in a system that convicts and executes murderers by the dozens yearly. Bring him to America, read him his rights, give him a trial and let him live out his life in contemplation and prayer in a supermax!

    February 16, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  38. mig29

    i dont think he'll be cooperative, this guy would rather die than talk.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  39. slm

    It's not the pro FBI's, it's the pro CIA's who will do the job right.
    This captive has to be interrogated as effectively as possible. No mercy. These jihadists do not take mercy on any other soldiers or citizens.
    What our soldiers, as well as the multi-national brigade that is there, has done is beyond commendable.
    It would be an insult to all of those who risked or lost their lives to allow these war criminals to have any rights. It would be an insult to their family.
    I just hope that our government is giving this info to reporters because it is real fact. Not just a bolstering or reasoning to explain their actions.
    I am only 45 years old, but I do not recall that in our first gulf war and in western Europe, that our government was so specific on wartime details. Is their release of info beneficial?

    February 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Sharard

    Not surprised that we just found an easy Taliban target sipping chai in Karachi after 9yrs of great cooperation. The high value targets are all sitting in Paki parliament and state guest houses protected by ISI.

    Pakis are making a fool of the western powers since their freedom. They have been extending their bowl for rest of us to feed. This is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Everything is run by army (or fauji). We keep feeding these b$$$$$$s and creating monsters for the rest of the world. They have not learned anything since 1945 after they were kicked out of India. One of the most hypocrite societies who want to have the best of the world and when it comes to protection, hide behind their religion.

    Let’s create a bigger Guantanamo somewhere and put all ISI/Politicians/Taliban and Al Qaeda behind the electric wire, Drop light food to feed for life.

    Adios, Pakis.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Frankie

    Good job but every time you kill a fly 40 more will come to life.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  42. George

    This is just propaganda. This imperial war like that one against Iraq is against the whole muslim population. You can bribe and intimidate a few but Afghans have seen off invaders before and by Gods grace will do so again. The ME doesnt need another US satrap.

    February 16, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Chokka

    Proud of this entire operation. We honor your efforts.

    Thanks,

    February 16, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  44. dave

    ure right Rajeev Gupta. It is political move. Cant believe people cant look beyond these stories that the media blows.

    February 16, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Jim

    I can't believe the idiocy I'm reading from the "waterboard his a$%" crowd. By all means, if you want to get no real intelligence & simply want to exact revenge, do it. Why do you think medieval kings & 3rd world dictators torture(and yes, it IS torture) people? Because people will say anything you want them to; in their cases confessing to whatever crimes you want them to in order to make the torture stop. You think you get good intelligence that way?

    But hey, why believe the professional FBI interrogators that were getting tons of accurate, actionable intelligence before Cheney's wasteful torture policies were introduced by his goon squads? After all, it must be so much better to waste countless manhours chasing deadends because some guy you're waterboarding told you something just to make you stop.

    If you want to exact a sadist revenge, torture people. If you want to actually want to defeat the jihadists, let the professional FBI interrogators do their job.

    February 16, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  46. vinny

    This is a big loss for the Taliban. you do not just lose your top field commander and replace him easily. Capable leaders are hard to find. If this guy was as skilled on the battlefield as people say, I highly doubt that they have another one just sitting behind and waiting to take over. Talent doesnt work like that. This guy will not talk and will not help us find Bin Laden or Omar. But it demoralizes their ranks and thats a huge plus

    February 16, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Clayton

    It's good that we captured this guy, yes.

    And no, it may not have "a direct impact in the Helmand province."

    But what this DOES show us is that we can (when we need to) hunt down even the highest of the Talibani leaders with the right cooperation.

    p.s. – I know we haven't captured bin Laden, but he is al-Qaeda.

    February 16, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  48. STATE STR

    You goin´tell me they still aint found Osama Bin Laden??? I´m telling you man, this guy is in Tijuana, chilling. Shaved face and decent hair cut... Kickin´ it with the locals.....

    February 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron h

      Proof positive that you shouldn't smoke weed before getting on your computer.

      June 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Jaxxxx

    will we kill him?

    February 16, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Wayne

    The one thing that I have learned over the years is that you cannot believe anything that you read nor most of what you see if filmed by the "free media". As afore stated, the only absolute meaning to this great capture is that it is a story for the news media to distort as they see fit. They captured Joe Smo yesterday and they will capture John Doe tomorrow. Both are the #2 leader of some terror group. It's a story.

    February 16, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  51. AkintayoNG

    Yeah,you are making some progress.Keep hammering on the Pakistani government to do more.Afteral the Talibans are a pain in their neck too.Why would they take America's money and yet develop cold feet to get these rouges out of their country?

    February 16, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  52. John

    The reality is that slowly but surely the Pakistan government is realizing that the Taliban as a whole is a threat to their government. The other reality is that the Taliban were simply the government of Afghanistan prior to 9/11 regardless of what you think (I am not defending them). They did horrible things to their own people, but when they supported the terrorists after 9/11 they went to far. At some point a peace will need to be worked out with them, however that will never happen with the top leadership who has fought us for so long still running around. Hopefully this will lead to back channel talks and Baradar and Omar will give up Osama (it may take some persuading).

    February 16, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  53. A. Smith, Oregon

    If the news on his capture is factual, he was in Pakistan and the Pakistiani ISI agency was involved. The ISI was setup by the CIA and is a mirror of that agency in Pakistan. Meaning, how or even why this man was 'captured' is likely not part of the published report. When America and America's media offhandedly accept CIA and ISI reports as entirely factual, they are making a large mistake in the field of journalism. Perhaps in the weeks and months ahead, a more factual, truthful and accurate account of what if anything took place will be released to the public.

    February 16, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Rasheed

    Once again it is proved that almost all major arrests of Taliban and AlQaeda leadres, has been done by Pakistan. The answer to Afgahn solution lies in a close partnership with Pakistan.

    February 16, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Àhmed

    @Dinesh...I have lived in Clifton, Karachi for the past 16 years but havent ever seen or even heard of Dawood Ibrahim...but I did once see hin in bombay 😉

    February 16, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Dewayne Chambers

    Drive a rat from a hole and it will find another hole, lets hope that hole isn't the US!

    February 16, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Niraj

    This event is a welcome news but then it raises so many questions:
    – How many Taliban members are living in other Pak cities? One can extrapolate based on the numerous previous captures that they are perhaps integrated in the society at large and get protection somehow.

    – Do one really think that Pak intel and army ddidn't know about these beasts? I see the game here, give (terror) by one hand, take(money) by another, and when the giving (terror) dries up, create more terror. That's the pak game being played for decades and the handlers making millions in the process.

    – Can we assume that Pak is the place where all these mofo's get sanctuary? Geography is a reason but why don't they go to iran? or China? or some other neighboring country? Why always Pakistan? There must be a reason? birds of a feather flock together?

    Pak needs to be sanitized.. considering also the terror havoc they have created in the entire sub-continent region.

    February 16, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Don Barbour

    I don't believe it is a coincidence that Baradar was captured in Karachi, Pak as it has been the center of recent terrorist bombing killing and maming numerous Paks. . This, I believe has caused a major political manhunt by the Paks in cooperation with the CIA to show muscle and make a prized capture justifying the big bucks coming from the USA. Whether or not the Baradar capture serves a real purpose is highly questionable and only time will tell.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  59. jack

    now when we waterboard him - oops, forgot - we don't "torture". well i guess we could have tea with him and try to get information by friendly means - oops, forgot - we can't talk to him him if he asserts his "miranda rights". oh well - at least the radical islamics will admire our system of justice. you think?

    February 16, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  60. JGUTS

    They should have drugged him, shoved a GPS tracking device up his colon and let him go. Maybe the could find his boss that way.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  61. andrew

    Just like in Pokemon, "Gotta catch'em all!" Good to hear the U.S. and Pakistan are working together to get rid of this menace and help bring peace and stablity to the region. Also, big shout out to boots on the ground in Afghanistan on Operation Moshtarak. Keep up the good work, and Thank you!

    February 16, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Joshua

    I think all this information is the media's way of influencing America to believe there is progress in capturing the one person everyone would like to see burn. Talk to me when Osama is in your possesion. Thats when you will scare the Taliban...when you capture there hero. It has been 9 years since 9/11. I think our efforts to find the man responsible have been pathetic.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Paul

    If we could only bring him back to the U.S., he can be read his Miranda Rights and get himself a good attorney.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  64. steve

    this is great news...instead of using the WATERBOARDING method of
    interogation..{ although..personally i'm for it...we are afterall...AT WAR ..with these guys } are there some kinds of drugs they can pump him full of.
    if so...you got my vote...then go after the whole lot of them...world-wide.
    there is no second place in war....you win or loose..that's it.
    everything else is fluff.
    excellent job everyone involved.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Jay

    Are we going to torture him to tell us where Bin Laden is? I think we should, it's about time we about a end to this crazy war.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Scooter

    This is good news; however, what now? Let's see. Bring him to the US– read him his rights-try him in a court of Biden's choice-let him go. Oh well- we real Americans don't count anyway.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  67. tom

    Do not trust Pakistan. They can stab you on back and so far thats what they have done. Using US $ and supporting terrors.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  68. mahadeo wayal

    I think this has been the direct RESULT of secretary Hillary Clinton's attack and in their own backyard telling the Pakistani Govt as to why they cant catch these people in the neighborhood. No sec. of state has ever done this before and as our country is pouring billions of dollars to help Pakistanis. Hillary is tough and results are coming in.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  69. raj

    It is obvious to a lot of people that there are many many more of these "leaders" in Pakistan. Need to go and get all of them.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Mic

    If someone captured a 4-star general, how much damage, realistically, would that do to the US army? Nil, but for leaked information – and even that is a short-term asset.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Boss

    A lot of you talk bullcrap. These are your opinions, you don't know jack, FACT. Neither do I.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  72. C.A. Jones

    The question that begs to be answered is...why capture this S.O.B. You're in a war zone...shoot to kill ! This P.O.S. won't divulge any useful info.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  73. mahadeo wayal

    I think this has been the direct RESULT of secretary Hillary Clinton's attack and in their own backyard telling the Pakistani Govt as to why they cant catch these people in the neighborhood.

    February 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Cyg

    Great News – we've only caught the number 2 guy now like 72 times now. When is the number 2 really going to be the number 2? When is #1 the only one that matters?

    February 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Bring the Pain

    I hope they are waterboarding his a$$ as we speak ...... god knows they would be doing a whole lot worse to one of our generals if the roles were reversed .....

    February 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  76. rick

    will he talk to betray his organization? lets practice the same barbaric atrocities on him as he has done to others... that sob will talk. too bad we value life more than his kind or else we'd get all kinds of intel from him. ironic, that we hamnstring ourselves with human rights while they don't care about it. two different rulebooks. You can't beat an animal by being civilized – you have to talk/act in ways that they understand. Torture his arse and we'll get some good intel.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Raul

    This may indeed turn out to be as the headline states – a "turning point". It would be so if this leads to more arrests and eventual capture of Mullah Omar.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Ali

    You will hear more good news. Pak Army , intelligent and the people are on the same platform to fight against terrorism.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Musafer

    Pakistan government is not stupid, most Taliban leaders been captured by ISI long time ago and Pakistan Government will bring them out one by one as more and more and more $$$$$$$$$ AID comes in, MONEY TALKS.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Atul Laddu

    The capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is a great news for the US and the World ! Let us hope that this is the beginning of a major success in destroying the Osama regimen. On the other hand, let us not forget that if we capture Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, there will be hundreds of Baradars which will start springing making the capture of all of them very difficult.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Dinesh

    International Terrorist DAWOOD IBRAHIM & King Pin of Drug Trade is in Clifton, KARACHI.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  82. JJ

    These are people willing to die against the West. Do you really think that they will say anything to jeopardise their movement?

    However, it is impressive that we have caught him. I however doubt he will say a word, whether we waterboard him or not

    February 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  83. marc

    The fact this guy was caught in Karachi kind of makes all the Pakistani denials that Taliban and Al-Qaeda find refuge and succor in Pakistan sound like Captain Renault in "Casablanca, " I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

    February 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Truce!

    What the capture of the Taliban "leader" means is a news story for CNN and others, little else. If he was there leader, then the operative word is *was.* There will be another leader shortly. And another after him. The tribes in the region have been doing this for centuries, warfare is a way of life for them. We won't change that ina few years or even a few decades.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Danny B

    Now picture this. I don't mean to rain on your parade, however in the case of loosing a leader, most military type groups plan on this possiblity. So another person is tapped to take his place. Minor setback. 24 hours of little to no leadership. This is also known as plan B, or C. Using numbers allows more than just 26 setbacks.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Ron Ruys

    I can't believe that Americans still believs the hype and propaganda told them by the US Government and Media.
    What this will mean, the capture of someone, is absolutely nothing, but is a great promo to spend more on killing people. The Taliban are a political party who were in power in Afghanastan and supported the AlQaeda. However if you simply spray the IOpium crops, they run out of money, and still we do not directly look for Bin Laden. Now apart from that, every radical idiot who wants to kill someone, calls themselves Al Qaeda, not once is the link proven.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Rajeev Guppta

    May be the whole arrest of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is bogus. Perhaps Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and the Pakistani and the US governments staged the arrest and are collaborating to find a political solution of the Afghan situation and the arrest was just a ruse.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron Hunt

      Gosh Rajeev...what an interesting concept..lets see now ... your "theory" is that the US government just fabricated this entire episode, so nothing really happened? Do you really believe that the government could create, implement and execute a plan that elaborate and not somehow screw it up? think about it,,, Tell me ..what's the color of the sky in your world?

      June 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Lachman

    Now is the time for CIA to start hunting for Osama bin laden and Omar mullah, they also must be hiding in Karachi, maybe the CIA will have to do it alone because one cannot trust the Pakistan intelligence.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Sean

    It means there will be a new Taliban military leader soon - if there isn't already.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  90. LiveLaughCry

    Strike the Shepard and the sheep shall scatter.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Neel

    Pakistan/ISI will extract the pound of flesh for every #2,#3 that is has produced and caught.
    Media and the rest of the world remains gullible. The key figures have never been in the border areas. Under the protection of the ISI, they have been staying well protected in the other areas of Pakistan. A new #2, #3 is produced every time there is pressure on Pakistan to act. Their strategy is to just buy time untill the US loses patience and gives up.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Wondering

    Purportedly this guy has been living in the open for sometime. And we just "caught" him now? Think maybe the administration needed some good news along about now? Let's scratch the surface and see what's underneath this surprising capture. Do I sound cynical? Just looking for some change I can count on.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  93. BillOh

    I wonder how long after his capture the news leaked out. You would think the remaining Taliban leadership would be on the move based on his capture becoming public.

    February 16, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  94. WEN

    It is good news for Americans the he is captured in Karachi. I am sure that we may get many of these type of people in different Pakistani cities, including Dawood Ibrahim, who terrorized and still terrorizing the region, under the protection of ??. You may guess it.

    February 16, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Victor

    While the capture is good news, US should bring more pressure on Pak specially the rogue military which for long has functioned with its own agenda. While US is helping them put down Pak Taliban, the pakis are doing very little to stamp out Afghan taliban. The rogue pak army is playing a dangerous double game by propping up and hiding the Afghan taliban and at the same time taking billions of dollars in aid and doing nothing but propping up it's own army.

    February 16, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  96. J.Kokro

    Pakistan has proven over the years that she is and is capable of being a more reliable Ally than Saudi Arabia. If we can just pump in more aids as we have done for the Saudies, the fight against Terror will be more rewarding.

    February 16, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Phil Dikeman

    GIVE ME A BREAK...These "Leaders" are disposible....many more are in line waiting to be the next "leader"
    Nice that we caught this one...now...let's get the next thousand of them too!

    February 16, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  98. scotty

    Such a prominent capture could help another part of the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, getting mid and lower-level Taliban to transition into regular society. The Afghan government is willing to help these Taliban do this by not punishing them, but to help them integrate them into the population with offers jobs. Please somebody fix the sentence structure. Elise Labott dont you have proof readers?

    February 16, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Aaron

    Who is holding him? If we turn him over to Pakistan or Afghan forces, won't he easily escape?

    February 16, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Dan Nelson Lafayette,IN

    It's good to hear that Pakistan's ISI and the CIA are working together. This should help in the capture of high targets of both Pakistan Taliban and Afghanistan Taliban which are moving freely around Pakistan since the Pakistan army is targeting the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan. It looks like the high targets in the tribal areas are running away from the Pakistan assault in northwestern Pakistan and the ISI and the CIA are finding them within Paisitan!

    February 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
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